Playing by the Rules on Termination of Contract Employment

Some two hundred and fifty-four (254) senior officers from a number of Government Ministries and Departments participated in a recently hosted two-day virtual webinar facilitated by the Personnel Department, entitle; “Termination of Contract Employment” aimed at creating a greater sense of awareness and understanding about contract employment in the public service and the related procedures required to effect the successful termination of contract employees.

Chief Personnel Officer (CPO), Cdr. Dr. Daryl Dindial delivered the opening remarks and signaled to the participants the challenges faced when the principles of good industrial relations procedures are not properly followed and a decision is made to terminate contract employees. Dr. Dindial would have also indicated that contract employees formed the largest group of employees who bring matters against the State to be heard at the Industrial Court and revealed that in 2020, the damages awarded by the Industrial Court concerning contract employees spiked to several million dollars (almost (90% of the damages as adjudged by the Industrial Court). This was noted to be executed through the unlawful/harsh and oppressive termination of contract employees due to the failure to abide by the Government’s policies or a failure to act in accordance with the principles of good industrial relations practices.

The highly engaging and informative two (2) day ‘Virtual Seminar’ featured a daily presentation, which was delivered by the hard working officers of the Personnel Department’s Legal Services Division. These enthusiastic and professional officers highlighted critical issues as well as presented insightful information to the fully engaged participants from across the public service, who included Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Departments, Legal Practitioners, Human Resource Practitioners and Supervisors. The group of notable officers meaningfully exposed the valuable information on the various topics related to employment contract termination, pre-employment phase, the first three months of employment, good industrial relations practices, termination for cause, and termination for operational requirements, short-term employment, and non-renewal of contract, maternity termination and job abandonment.     

It was no secret that the initiative was well received and executed by the Legal Services Team as the compliments and congratulations rolled in from the various attending Ministries and Departments for the innovative use of the ‘Virtual Seminar’ to get its potent message across.  This meant that utilizing a ‘virtual webinar’ format successfully met the targeted intention of providing an intense crash course on the proper execution of contract termination as well as ably refreshed the minds of the several supervisors, top managers and HR professionals from the several attending Ministries and Departments.

 Be on the lookout for more vibrant and engaging presentations from the Personnel Department.